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But What About the Al-Qaeda Connections?

Reported by Ellen - September 16, 2004 -

There's a video report by Bret Baier on FOXNews.com called "Tough Talk," and subtitled, "The once-close ties between U.S. and Saudi Arabia suffer a blow." Is it about Senator Bob Graham's recent allegations that there is evidence of Saudi government support for the 9/11 hijackers? No. No mention of that. In fact, the story goes out of its way to mention the Saudi "progress" on counter-terrorism. So what's the tough talk?

It's about freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia as a matter of US national security. According to Congressman Dan Burton, Muslim fundamentalism in Saudi Arabia leads to hatred of the US. Baier quotes anti-Jewish, anti-Christian statements in Saudi textbooks and Colin Powell's assertion of the kingdom's "severe violations of religious freedom that could lead to sanctions."

Meanwhile, there's no talk, tough or otherwise, about Senator Graham's recent statements that raise important but unflattering questions about the Bush Administration and the Bush family's close ties to the Saudi royal family:

"As co-chairman of the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, I saw compelling evidence from CIA and FBI files that an agent of the Saudi Arabian government had provided support to two of the 19 hijackers while they lived in the U.S. Much of this evidence remains classified. The Bush administration censored 27 pages of the report that deal with Saudi connections to the hijackers. And the White House refused to give us access to a key witness - a retired Muslim professor who was simultaneously landlord to one of the hijackers and an FBI informant."

I'd expect a Real Journalism, Fair and Balanced Network to at least mention this in a story about Saudi Arabia and threats to our national security but not a word. Instead, we get Baier saying "State Department officials today did praise Saudi Arabia for increased co-operation on counter-terrorism." And, in a follow-up exchange between Baier and Brit Hume, Hume asks about the recent spate of attacks on westerners in the kingdom. Hume asks, "This isn't something sanctioned by the Saudi government?" Baier reassures him it isn't.

Meanwhile, Senator Graham's warning that "We will not win that war unless we determine which of our make-believe allies are actually supporting terrorists with financial, logistical and even diplomatic resources," goes not just unheeded but unreported.